Greetings from the Garden! This week's CSA box has salad and braising greens such as lettuce, pea shoots, sorrel and/or arugula, beet and turnip thins, mizuna and tatsoi, spinach, and flowers, parsnips, salad turnips, and asparagus
Field Notes. Ken has been working long days. Sunday he transplanted the bulk of the onion crop - a LOT of tiny onion plants he had seeded in trays in early February. He has planted some potatoes, many cabbage, and has tomatoes and peppers in the mobile high tunnel. he has lost a few tomatoes and peppers to cut worms, but has been finding and eliminating the cut worms and replacing plants with extras he has saved.
In addition to all the transplanting, Ken has been preparing beds and planting seeds as well.. Some crops lend themselves to transplanting while others like root crops are best planted as seeds directly into the soil. Ken is also watching the weather for rain (no hail please) and so he can stay on top of opening and closing greenhouses.
Ken is also teaching a monthly Let;s Garden class on the third Saturday from April to October. If you know any gardeners who want to hone their skills, please let them know. Details are on events on face book or web site.
From the Kitchen. Spring brings spinach and asparagus. I think of them both together. Spinach is packed with nutrition, but it has oxalic acid which bothers some people in the form of kidney stones. Asparagus flushes the system of oxalic acid so we tend to eat them both. Here is a supper I brought out to Ken in the field: pasta tossed with my mayonnaise and chives with cooked bacon and seared asparagus spears and a side of salad with beer and dessert.
Last week I froze spinach for winter quiches and soups (see prior blog entry for the how to). Two standard sized colanders became four pint bags after blanching. Once we have some extra asparagus I also freeze one or two quart bags for a cream of asparagus soup in winter. We feel like it is a cleansing food.
Spinach is a favorite with many folks. I tend to pair spinach with any of the following - cooked with eggs and chives, in salads with feta cheese and hard boiled eggs, and as a last minute addition to soups and stews.
Here is a potato salad and spinach salad - my lunch on Saturday
Asparagus is best lightly cooked. Many people who don't like asparagus have had overcooked mushy stuff in past. I like to pan sear it in a heavy skillet with some oil or fat that takes heat, or brush it with olive oil and grill it. That seals in the flavor.
Salad turnips are a spring delight. We have been growing them for years, and they are catching on in popularity. They are a mild Asian turnip that is often sliced and salted. I use them raw like radishes and cooked like purple turnips. The greens are a nutritional power house. I usually flash cook them or add them to soups right before serving. Enjoy!
'Til Next Week, Judith